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End of year NB thoughts


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This looked like quite a fun topic over on the TT page, so I thought I'd totally shamelessly steal it away for us to enjoy here, like some hapless Guild child.

Where do people see Our faction now there has been a bit of time to play with all the new toys 2016 has given us?

Coming from a pretty limited Collodi and Lilith perspective...

Given how flexible Lilith can be, I'm sure there is all kinds of new filth for her to abuse. Off the top of my head, Lilith, Aesilin and Anna Lovelace look like they could have some fun shutting down absolutely any movement you don't like.

The Nephilim have been busy. I've personally been enjoying the bog standard Mother of Monsters + Nephilim crew, surprisingly versatile and great fun, mature would rock if mine would ever hit anything, the young have impressed me as great reserve beaters, and tots are just so so good for versitile marker drop and interacts, model positioning etc. one of mine even took down a Rooster Rider in single combat.

The twins are good, though the conditioned-based schemes in gg2016 has been hurting their table time for me. I'm slow, so its taken me a while to learn just how crucial lure is in so many situations, the Beckoners have been slipping into Lilitu's rightful spot though, that push is just so useful. Lelu's upgrade was well deserved, haven't actually managed to field him with it, but it seems like a little more durability than wet cardboard will help him fulfill that odd sideline beater role he's got going on, its not a huge deal, but it didn't need to be. Still reckon he has some legs as a BB bomb.

Tuco... such a cool model, such a corner case take. An expensive turn 1 road bump/marker control, tangle shadow target I guess, but seriously just use a tot or the effigy... maybe Pandora gets more use out of him than Lilith? He didn't qualify for a buff (instead they chose iggy?!), so I guess I'm missing something.

Angel Eyes, I loved the look of this gal after playing a few games against her. Plinkyplinking enemy models off from decent range whilst skirting the flanks as either a bodyguard or back up scheme runner she did good work on me, decent rapid growth holder too. But then I got into McTavish, and for 1 or 2 stones more damn he's hard to pass up.

Still a bit skeptical about Scion on paper, he's kind of in Mr Grave's slot, condition removal is always good, but so is show ya the door and, well, Johanna. Still, that's a few evil goat demons armed with shotguns, welcome to the range game.  

Blood Wretches look solid and could benefit very happily from the love Collodi and maybe Zoraida could show them. In particular 3 min damage 3 attacks with +, drawing 2 cards discarding 1 for damaging with burning or discard sounds like it might be enough to tempt me away from the joy of pull the strings barrage.

Corrupted hounds look pretty weak, I'm sure Collodi, Vasilisa and Zoraida etc. can find better targets for their obeys, but they seem like they would make fun black blood bombs  

Black Blood Shaman stays shit, and needs to get back on the table to persuade me otherwise. Collodi could make a fun Nekima-Joy bomb I guess (hopefully KJ can enter via a tot).

Heyreddin... PLEASE COME BACK

In terms of Puppets, Stitched Together with the Lucky Effigy buff make me so happy, I may not have activated one three times in a turn yet, but twice a turn tends to suffice.

Vasilisa, I love her, she is an unbelievably effective scheme runner with a Coryphee (or even Marionette) in tow... for an unbelievable cost, and in an unbelievably niche scheme selection. I want to believe she can be more than this so hard! I need to learn to trust.

Bunraku I'm so excited for, Collodi's pinball machine of doom needs to be tested! My disturbing love of anything puppety aside, they seem to be solid 6 stone models competing with exceptional 6 stone models like Stitched and Waldgeist. However, I often hesitate to take Arcane Effigy because we all know that will end in tears for the stitched, Bunraku on the other hand could make that very tasty, along with defensive or armour +2. With retract I can see my fated lists leaving out the Marionettes for exclusive in-game summons... that's going to feel a bit naked, but puppet pinball beckons! If only there was something(s) with pounce...

Rougarou and the Thorn/Tooth/Claw I'm sure could do mean things with Collodi's helping hands.

The Will O' Wisps have been a significant buff to the swamp fiends from what I can see. Really looking forward to teaming one up with the Spawn Mother and Eternal Juju for reconn/interfer. One did its job well in a game I played against Zoraida - but considering how much better a player my opponent was than me, and the fact I was able to fight it to a draw, makes me think Mrs Z won't start dominating - only one game though.

Overall Neverborn seem to be in a strong place - can't complain about tournament rankings (though players matter more than models for sure), and a good showing in Divergent Paths (no thanks to me, well done guys+girls) - We remain the fast, tricky, glass cannon faction, henchmen still specialised, heavy enforcers still expensive, scheme runners still awesome, some mid-range durability gained with the Fae.

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TBH, I view neverborn as still being in a strong place despite books 3 and 4, rather than because of them.

neverborn have gained a little more model diversity, but books 3/4 have not added to their power level.  This is probably a good thing.

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Like Joel said, I don't think much released in 2016 has had a massive effect upon the models used and the power base for Neverborn. Some useful upgrades, but apart from that we were pretty strong with the wave 1 and 2 books. I don't think Titania has been used enough to make a dent upon the top 3 NB masters.

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Generic "this is only what I think among the ocean of different experiences that is Malifaux" Disclaimer

 

Upgrades

I find Neverborn to be in a frustrating place as far as generic Upgrades go.

Nexus is garbage (I hope this gets rewritten or replaced), Pact feels gimmicky, and one of our new Upgrades did little more then allow two of our old ones (looking at you Mimic's and Ret) to get up to snuff which is appreciated. Malifaux provides is great. Most other upgrades are meh at best. Why not every faction has a Rare 3 1/Game bonus upgrade remains a mystery.

 

Masters

Lillith remains a jack of all trades and pleasant drop this year. She is just good. Works with anyone anywhere any-when but certainly can't touch what a few other Masters bring to the table as their strong-suits. 

Zorida got some love from the Wisps and has been fun to play lately however Enthrall is a terrible ability and waste of card space as written beyond gimmicks. It should be rewritten or crossed out. Why it's so restrictive is beyond me and Book 4 didn't help this. I'd either like every out of faction hiring option to be as restrictive or this one to not be as restrictive.

Collodi Thankfully Book 4 brought it some melee options as Illuminated, Trappers, Stitched, and Changelings covered in Effigy buffs was getting boring.... Fated is still better then Bag of Props. 

Dreamer A new nightmare was surprising to see. Not sure it changes Dreams of Pain's Sea of Stitched, though. With Glowy McTavish being a thing I am very weary of Dreamer's 6 inch range of effectiveness and low wounds. 

Pandora Rougarou are huge and Wisps have been nice for turning Inflict into a way to run Schemes. I have, and always will be, bothered that Mass Incite is only once per turn when Whirlwind is not. 

Titania I have trouble here. This "tanky" master boasts a sad Defense of 5 and no built in way to make that okay beyond Impossible to wound which is nice but not going to do the trick on it's own. That being said the amount of healing she can achieve for herself, and her crew, makes her fun and tanky if not risky. Since any smart opponent will kitchen sink her faster then I could blink this is not currently a good tournament Master (for me).

Lynch I don't like him in NB and Book 4 didn't change that.... Pass.

Lucius Yeah.... no. 

 

Henchmen

Most of our Henchmen are overpriced for what they do, as well, if not completely insulting cost-wise compared to what other factions get. 

I'm not a fan of the Book 4 Henchmen. She needs too much to do anything without some help and really should have just had Counterspell (which Neverborn doesn't have because reasons). She can stay in the case - Mercenary Henchmen remain a much better option aside from Nekima and a few corner cases.

I've really grown to like JuJu this year and Widow can shine in the right crews but everyone already knows that and nobody is every really surprised to see her.

 

Enforcers

No Enforcer options were added for us in Book 4 but we are fine in this department. Graves is one of my personal favorites, we have the Doppleganger, Lelu got a boost and the twins are great, and Iggy (without his zero upgrade) is a wonderful control piece.

 

Minions

Rougarou, Rougarou, Rougarou, Rougarou, Rougarou, Rougarou, and Rougarou..... Did I mention Rougarou?

I'm still a huge fan of Stitched together, Changelings, Sliruds, Waldgeists, and Sorrows. I'll never complain about Neverborn minions: almost all of them are, and in Book 4 continue to be, excellent. Wisps are amazing, as well. Sadly I haven't had much time with the Bandersnatch. 

 

Peons

Alps are fine, I guess? I wish everyone had more Peons. 

 

Is Neverborn in a good Place?

Maybe? I feel like some of the things that drew me to Neverborn, fast, evasive, tricky, etc. exist in 10T and they don't seem as glassy. Heck Nellie does a lot of the "Neverborn-y" things I like and Arcanists got a mini tangle shadows in Blade and Claw (which is awesome looking).... Could be a grass on the other side deal. I've been with the NB since 1.0 so maybe I'll switch it up and try a new faction this year.

It's always depressing to see how low they are in the US Tournament Rankings despite how often they are played although that is highly different from the UK Rankings so who knows. The models definitely look cool, though, and that hasn't changed. 

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5 hours ago, Joel said:

Lilith, Pandora, Collodi at the top

dreamer, lynch , Titania on next level

zoraida, Lucius on level below that 

As someone who is a big fan of the dreamer and his crew mechanics (widow weaver, coppelius, summoning, ...), what exactly is he lacking that the top 3 have? I haven't played him and I just got Lynch, but I always thought Dreamer was one of their strongest masters. From what I've heard, his summoning allows him to be competitive in pretty much anything.

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6 hours ago, Joel said:

Lilith, Pandora, Collodi at the top

dreamer, lynch , Titania on next level

zoraida, Lucius on level below that 

Is Zoraida really that weak, these days? Wisps gave her an absolutely enormous boost and GG16 Scheme Set favours her, I think, as she can deny stuff pretty damn well (and denial is half the victory). I think my ranking would be:

First tier: Lilith, Pandora, Collodi, Dreamer

Second tier: Lynch, Titania, Zoraida

Third tier: This tier is intentionally left empty

Bottom tier: Lucius

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A case could be made for dreamer joining the others at the top, but this was a personal opinion list, and since I struggle to get dreamer to work for me, he moves down a step.

 

Zoraida gained from book 4, but not by a quantum leap - of the 3 obey masters in this faction, she and lucius are still lagging behind collodi.  With a bit more experience of her new options I might move her up in time, but not at this point.

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Haven't tried Lucius in Neverborn but I feel he's been given the short end of the stick. The Autumn knights alone should be a massive boost for him due to them dropping scheme markers and being minions. I think we've gained the most out of W4 by having one of the coolest crew box (model wise).

End of year thoughts? Well I'm excited for story progression now, given how Titania is trying to transfer NB leadership and the Tyrants are ramping up their plans. Kinda want to switch faction in the new year (to justify all those purchases...) but definitely want to stick to NB for a while too. Having started this game in Jan, I've learned a lot and have an appreciation for cheating fate and using cards instead of dice. Come 2017, I'm definitely getting around to painting up some of the larger models.

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Top 3 masters.....

This is always going to be a tricky one and very subjective. Pandora, Lillith and either/or Dreamer and Collodi. Personally I place dreamer above Collodi.

In relation to our henchman. I agree that this isn't NB's strongest area, which probably accounts for the ever popular Nekima.

Love the Rougarou. Another great NB minion. 

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On 09/12/2016 at 0:16 AM, necroon said:

Zorida got some love from the Wisps and has been fun to play lately however Enthrall is a terrible ability and waste of card space as written beyond gimmicks. It should be rewritten or crossed out. Why it's so restrictive is beyond me and Book 4 didn't help this. I'd either like every out of faction hiring option to be as restrictive or this one to not be as restrictive.

 

I am surprised by this. Enthrall seems a fairly decent increase to hiring pool, and allows her some powerful combinations (Although probably the best is the nurse). She also has the potential for a different outside faction hiring of swamp fiends, so allowing her 2 different sets to choose from is pretty good. Whilst I can see why you would say its the worst out of faction hiring options, because you are paying extra ss for them, and it is costing you your Merc slots, it gives her a wide range of models from acrsss all factions to look at. Most of the time, models that have keyword connections have synergies in their native faction, and you don't get such a mix to what they can do by takign them in another faction, but Entrall isn' key word related, so it opens up previously unexpected synergies. 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Adran said:

I am surprised by this. Enthrall seems a fairly decent increase to hiring pool, and allows her some powerful combinations (Although probably the best is the nurse). She also has the potential for a different outside faction hiring of swamp fiends, so allowing her 2 different sets to choose from is pretty good. Whilst I can see why you would say its the worst out of faction hiring options, because you are paying extra ss for them, and it is costing you your Merc slots, it gives her a wide range of models from acrsss all factions to look at. Most of the time, models that have keyword connections have synergies in their native faction, and you don't get such a mix to what they can do by takign them in another faction, but Entrall isn' key word related, so it opens up previously unexpected synergies.

I find "Living  models with Willpower 4 or lower" to be fairly restrictive and usually unhelpful. Nurses are really the only model this has gotten me any mileage out of and Sorrows are a better "Stand there and paralyze the VooDoo doll" option if that is all that is being done (granted each of them is a very different model with it's own strengths and weaknesses). 

Papa Loco and  Pere Ravage are fun but they don't get me much. Silent Ones and Malifaux Raptors don't do anything for me. I can see Raptors being useful but I'd sooner just have a Slirud, Gupp, or Wisp copying Animal Shape do that job: Neverborn doesn't lack movement. A few of the LaCroixs seem like they might be okay but certainly nothing to stop the presses about. Ototo and Samurai aren't super impressive, either.

The Swampfiend hiring is fine as far as I'm concerned. I've no complaint there. 

Lots of personal pronouns here: Hopefully I'm not coming across as argumentative.

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But you can take a raptor, give it burning 4 with iggy, go into the sky and appear right next to the most important target of the enemy at the end of the turn, resolve burning and drop a killjoy in their face. Win initiative with the doppelganger and start turn 2 the game with a huge advantage, aka killjoy eating their snipercamp or their healer or schemerunner (whatever is the priority target for strat and schemes).

Also as a gremlinraida sidenote: Nurses + moon shinobis feels like cheating when playing vs ressers XD (watch Yin get destroyed in 2 hits by a 6 stone minion with never ending positive flips and 2 armor)

 

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18 minutes ago, Drunken Kung Fu Kid said:

But you can take a raptor, give it burning 4 with iggy, go into the sky and appear right next to the most important target of the enemy at the end of the turn, resolve burning and drop a killjoy in their face. Win initiative with the doppelganger and start turn 2 the game with a huge advantage, aka killjoy eating their snipercamp or their healer or schemerunner (whatever is the priority target for strat and schemes).

I have done that and don't find it particularly cost effective. I'd rather take a Gupp and either run schemes with it or have the opponent spend their AP to kill it to get KJ out. Again: just my opinion. 

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Titania is a big let-down. Great model, though.

Her central mechanic, from my perspective: spend 1 action to maybe do 2 damage, drop a scheme marker (if possible) that is maybe in a useful place. If that model is in the same place when it activates, it maybe takes 2 more damage if the opponent lets it through. She can heal via scheme marker placement, but not ones she drops herself (??????).

I find her to be terribly boring and mediocre. I struggle to justify bringing her in for this reason. If she were boring + strong or interesting + mediocre I'd feel better. Big fat F on her design.

The concept has a ton of potential, too. 

 

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12 hours ago, Torsul said:

In my Opinion 2016 just brought the Wisp's for zoraida and spawn mother, the Emissary (for collodi) as really good staples. The Fae Minions may be okay but aren't enough to kick illuminated from their throne I feel. Corrupted Hounds are somewhat interesting as you get 3 for nearly the same price as 2 tots. Changelings are nice, but I never have room to hire them, as they tend to be more of an force multiplier, so need an enabler first. The Rest ... exists. Compared to Resser, Arcanists and Guild the neverborn didn't won the race this year. Not even second.

I've heard similar sentiment from my local community. There is some discussion that Neverborn did perhaps get less love than some others, but some people appear to believe NB were already very powerful so the slightly underwhelming releases were justified. I'm not really sure where I stand on this as I don't play very much NB myself.

Of course, none of this made me feel any better while being on the receiving end of Zoraida and a Wisp. It felt decidedly oppressive. After seeing what this thing was capable of, I felt obliged to kill it much earlier than I wanted to. It's really dirty lol, and this is all before considering how potent they'd be with Fickle Winds of Fate...

There has been considerable attention for the role the Knights will play in the future... By Leveticus players, of course :P 

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On 13/12/2016 at 9:11 AM, MunchChomp said:

Titania is a big let-down. Great model, though.

Her central mechanic, from my perspective: spend 1 action to maybe do 2 damage, drop a scheme marker (if possible) that is maybe in a useful place. If that model is in the same place when it activates, it maybe takes 2 more damage if the opponent lets it through. She can heal via scheme marker placement, but not ones she drops herself (??????).

I find her to be terribly boring and mediocre. I struggle to justify bringing her in for this reason. If she were boring + strong or interesting + mediocre I'd feel better. Big fat F on her design.

The concept has a ton of potential, too. 

For me, her central mechanic is all about tagging people with Behold My Glory and using the triggers from Bloody Command. I never had much success with just throwing her in there. Although she might not look it at first glance, she's a skirmishers, not a brawler.

14 hours ago, Torsul said:

I'am sad that she's so dependant on her core crew. You need Aeslin and two nights (maybe one is enough, but I found two to be the sweet spot). That makes for 23pts without Upgrades and cache. With those you are around 28, 30 with pukeworm and you got just 4 Models in. Without any real hitters or Sceme runners. 

I find both of these posts very strange from a personal PoV. One of the saddest issues I had with Titania was that she was the only model from the box I was using! 

Although I don't think she's in quite the same league as the top Neverborn masters, she's definitely not lacking for power. 

I did a bit of a post of my exploits with her if you want further reading on how I used her.

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4 hours ago, Torsul said:

...

For casual fun she's alright, as is every other master in this game. I am aware I've got a very competetive point of view in this case, but as far as balancing goes I think that's the measurement reference wyrd should aim for.

...

I agree that's probably where we differ.  I usually play Malifaux casually (tough but not hyper...). I also think that to get all the Masters in the game to be equal power would be basically impossible, so even though Titania probably isn't top-tier (TT) I think she's close enough. 

The other thing is I came to NB through Titania, so she's my baseline whereas your baseline is the TT masters.  I've since had a few games with Lilith (that was a bit of a whitewash, so I'm actually a bit reluctant to use her), one with Chompy-Dreamer and a few against Collodi and can safely say they are probably more powerful.  But Titania is still good fun for me.  The best thing about Titania is that she's new, so there are a lot of different options I want to experiment with.  With Lilith, the Craiglist is basically the go-to, point-and-click way to play. 

If you want to see my exploits I posted them here: Titania fun! Feel free to rezzer the thread.  I really want to play her again and will add to it someday!  I also want to hear how you've been playing her with the knights.  (this way we can also came this on topic!)

To get back on topic, I don't think RoF has done especially much for the competitive NB scene other than add A Thousand Faces which is basically auto-take if you're thinking about taking an upgrade and Malifaux Provides which is another awesome upgrade (and goes very well with Titania!).

That said, I do think Wisps add a lot to both Kade's Where's Teddy, Spawn Mother and most importantly, Zoraida.

I also think the Rougarou will add a lot of combos with his pushes and pounce.  I truely wish they were Enforcers though to give the Fae an in-theme Enforcer model and someone to take Ret's Eye.

The knights, while not Illuminated, are solid models.

The only one I'm really unsure about is Aeslin...  She seems very expensive for what she does...

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